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Question Number: 33974

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 8/12/2020

RE: Competitive Adult

Kano of Linkoping, Sweden asks...


In the last minutes of a heated a futsal game, Team A is 2/0 ahead of Team B. Team B are frustrated.

Player from Team A smartly and cleanly steals the ball from player from Team B (almost shoulder to shoulder).

In retaliation, Player B right away stands up to the face of Player A yelling and screaming, then pushes his chest with two hands.

The referee did not hear the foul language (because they were far), but everyone saw the push.

Player A had his hands up in the air (surrender mode) the whole time.

What is the verdict?


Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Kano,
It may have been that the referee heard the language but didn't see which player spoke it.
First off, the restart is a direct free kick or a penalty kick if it's in the penalty area or there has been the accumulation of fouls - assuming the ball is still in play.

I personally take a very dim view of player starting a confrontation and I'm very likely to issue a caution to a player who tries to start a confrontation.

Pushing a player over nothing while yelling at them - it sounds like a caution at minimum. Of course I wasn't there so maybe a free kick only would be justified. What I'm picturing from your response may be different to what happened.

Similarly, while uncommon, a push to the chest could warrant a red card if there is sufficient force or aggression to consider 'Violent Conduct'. I've done this once or twice when it wasn't so much the push itself, but the extremely heightened and aggressive manner of the player warranted their removal from the game.

In deciding whether to issue a card, the referee will consider primarily the force used and the manner of the player (and, for instance, a player who just pushes once then storms off will be considereddifferently to a player who needs to get dragged away by their teammates), how aggressive that player is at that time, the temperament of the match so far, the history of that player in that game, whether the push is in response to something (say, a bad foul), even the age/grade/skill level of the match. All that is considered to varying extents.

The time of the match shouldn't have any influence on the referee's decision. It could potentially be a factor in a borderline case where you could almost toss a coin to see which way the referee should go, but it's unlikely to be so borderline.

If Player B has pushed Player A on the head/neck then this would be a red card in this situation.

By your description Player A has done nothing wrong and shouldn't be carded.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kano
Without hearing the words I would say that Player B could certainly be cautioned for unsporting behaviour and the restart is a direct free kick or a possible penalty kick if the number of accumulated fouls has been reached.
Also it is worth noting that there can be modified rules in Futsal which does not allow slide tackling nor charging. That could also have a bearing on the decision.
If could also be a red card if the push was more of a strike or excessive force was used knocking the opponent to the ground which is violent conduct and/or the player used offensive, insulting and abusive language.
The referee might also decide as it is the last minute of the game with Team A in possession leading by 2 goals to do nothing other than have a word with Player B. Cards are used to control the game and if it is not violent conduct or offensive language a referee might just let it slide and the game ends a few seconds later.
So there is no set *verdict* to use your term. Depending on the severity if the incident an experienced referee might simply diffuse the situation, speak with Player B sternly and get on with finishing out the game. He could also caution Player B if it was tournament play with cards being carried forward or he might red card the player. As the game is effectively over he may do the least necessary in the circumstances to deal with the situation.

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